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Gerald ‘Jerry’ Oettle | 87 | Henderson, KY

Gerald “Jerry” Anthony Oettle, 87, of Henderson, KY, departed this life Sept. 15, 2023. He was born on Nov. 20, 1935 in Hardin, IL to Russell and Kathryn Oettle.
Jerry began working from an early age, shining shoes at his father’s business and organizing apple harvesting with his brother in his early teens. He graduated from Southern Illinois University (Carbondale) in 1958 and, two days later, married the love of his life, Violet Reynolds. After a few short stints in various jobs (including at Scott Air Force Base), Jerry began working at Job Corps in 1964. Jerry travelled often in this role, opening new centers across the country, and the family lived in many places during his time with the Job Corps (Greenville, MS; Waverly, KY; Rochester, NY; and Knoxville, TN). He served as the Center Director for the Earle C. Clements Job Corps in Morganfield, KY for more than twenty years, before retiring in 1995. Jerry spent much of his retirement at the family farm riding horses, reading Westerns and drinking coffee on the porch, and teaching several generations of beloved grandchildren about the outdoors. A member of, first, the Catholic and then Baptist faiths, Jerry and his wife were longtime members of First Baptist Church in Henderson, KY.
Jerry was an avid UK Basketball fan, a lover of music, and frequented nearly any garage sale that he happened to lay his eyes on – if there was a bargain to be had, he couldn’t pass it up. One of Jerry’s favorite things was his wife’s apple pies, which he constantly requested without ceasing. Jerry had a dry, witty, sarcastic sense of humor that always left those he was talking to with a smile on their face; or a bit of a shocked look, depending on the occasion. Jerry was also a generous man, always sharing with family, friends, and strangers when they were in need. He loved deeply, worked vigorously, and set an example to his entire family on what it means to be a good spouse, parent, Christian and man. Jerry fought the good fight. He finished the race. He kept the faith.
Jerry is preceded in death by his parents, Russell and Kathryn; and his oldest son, Craig Oettle.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Violet Ruth Oettle; his brother, James “Jimmy” Oettle of Big Pine Key, FL; his children, Jeff Oettle and Julie Gray; grandchildren, Mindy Gray, Andrew Oettle, Kohl Oettle, Logan Gray, and Isaac Oettle; great-grandchildren Alexis Merrick, and Ah’Bria Norris, Jaythin Norris and Kylee Norris; and one great-great-grandchild, Ke’Alan Davis.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 at Tomblinson Funeral Home Henderson Chapel with Pastor Sam Hinkson officiating. Burial will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens. Pallbearers will be Kohl Oettle, Andrew Oettle, Isaac Oettle, Logan Gray, Jaythin Norris, and Darrel Walters.
Visitation will be from 2 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023 and on Friday September 22, 2023, from 12 PM until service time at the funeral home.

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